China lashes Taiwan over offer to Hong Kong protesters

China slammed Taiwan Monday for offering asylum to Hong Kong people facing prosecution for involvement in anti-government protests, telling the island’s leaders to “stop meddling” in the territory’s affairs.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen voiced support last month for granting asylum to some Hong Kong protesters, with the semi-autonomous financial hub in the midst of an unprecedented political crisis.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Chinese cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office, warned Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party to “stop undermining the rule of law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs, and stop indulging criminals in any way”.

Taiwanese authorities “ignore the facts and reverse black and white, not only masking the crimes of a small number of Hong Kong militants but also fuelling their arrogance for destroying Hong Kong”, said Ma.

Last month after dozens of Hong Kong activists reportedly involved in an unprecedented storming of the city’s parliament fled to Taiwan, the Taipei said it would provide assistance to those seeking sanctuary.

“They openly claim to provide (protesters) asylum, making Taiwan into a ‘haven sheltering criminals’, where does this put the safety and welfare of the Taiwan people?” asked Ma.

Beijing regards Taiwan as a part of China awaiting reunification, but the island is a self-ruled democracy.

The protest movement in Hong Kong was sparked by widespread opposition to a plan for allowing extraditions to the Chinese mainland but has since morphed into a broader call for democratic rights.

Taiwan’s history of providing sanctuary to Chinese dissidents has been mixed.

The island still does not recognise the legal concept of asylum but has, on occasions, allowed dissidents to stay on long-term visas.

Ties with Beijing have soured since Tsai came to power in 2016 because her party refuses to recognise the idea that Taiwan is part of “one China”.


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Swych Promotions August 2019: Free $20 eBay GC w/ $200 Lowe’s GC Purchase, & More!

swychFind the latest Swych coupons, promo codes, and promotions here.

Haven’t you heard of Swych? Well if you’re into purchasing gift cards, here’s your chance to save some money! Swych is an online way to buy and send gift cards! Swych Gift Cards are the discounted as well as convenient!

Simply search for select promotional gift cards and purchase them for a discounted price! Give and get the perfect gift every time with the Swych app. Give. Get. Swych. Download the Swych app today!

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About Swych

Swych is a growing online company that allows users buy and send gift cards! Swych allows you to buy and send gift cards in the palm of your hand. This is the perfect tool for all of you last minute shoppers. Because gift cards are such an easy gift, as a result, Swych as made their whole company about sending the perfect gift!

Now, you don’t have an excuse to miss giving a gift! Swych makes it easy and affordable to purchase and send discounted gift cards. Make sure to download and take advantage of Swych while you can.

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Current Swych Gift Card Promotions

Free $20 eBay GC w/ $200 Lowe’s GC Purchase

Free $20 eBay GC w/ $200 Lowe’s GC Purchase

Currently, Swych is having a special promotion where you can get free $20 eBay GC with the purchase of a $200 Lowe’s GC.

If you’re planning on remodeling or purchasing new tools and equipment, then this is a great opportunity to save a ton of money. This promotions is valid for a limited time only so be sure to take advantage of this offer while you still can. Be sure to apply promo code listed below at checkout.

  • What’s the offer: Free $20 eBay GC w/ $200 Lowe’s GC Purchase
  • Promo Code:
    • TENEXTRA19
    • RETOOL19
  • Where it’s available: Swych app
  • When it expires: Limited time offer
  • How to get it: Purchase a $200 Lowe’s gift card and apply code at checkout on the Swych App
  • What are the terms: Limit 1 per member & 2 per household per code used.

(Click here to download the Swych app)

Best Buy $20 Gift Card With $150 Lowe’s Gift Card Purchase

Get a Best Buy GC with your Lowe’s GC

Earn a $20 Best Buy gift card when you get a $150 Lowe gift card with Swych. This limited time offer is a good way to earn cash back if you need to go to Lowe’s or Best Buy sometime soon.

  • Offer expiration: Limited Time Offer
  • Promocode: BESTWOW
  • What you’ll get: $20 Best Buy Gift Card
  • Who is eligible: Swych users only
  • Where it’s available: Offer available online, nationwide
  • How to earn it:
    • Log in to your Swych account or sign up if you don’t have one, See link below.
    • Apply promo code at checkout

(Visit the link above to download Swych App)

10% Off of Lowes Gift Cards

10% Off Gift Cards

Swych is having a promotion right now where you can get $200 Lowe’s Gift Cards for only $180! This promotion saves you 10% at Lowe’s, so make sure to take advantage of this offer while you can.

  • Offer expiration: Limited Time Offer
  • What you’ll get: 10% Off Lowe’s Gift Cards
  • Who is eligible: Swych users only
  • Where it’s available: Offer available online, nationwide
  • How to earn it:
    • Log in to your Swych account or sign up if you don’t have one, See link below.
    • Apply promo code at checkout

(Visit the link above to download Swych App)

Save Up to 7% On Restaurant Gift Cards (Expired)

Swych Promotions

Save 3-7% On Restaurant Giftcards

Swych is offering users up to save up to 7% off on restaurant gift card purchases! This offer will last while supplies last, so take advantage of this today and buy your gift cards!

  • Offer expiration: August 15, 2019, 11:59 PM PDT
  • What you’ll get: Save up to 7% on restaurant gift card purchases
    • Buy $100+ use promo code FAMILYSTYLE  and get a 3% discount
    • Buy $200+ use promo code EVENINGOUT  and get a 5% discount
    • Buy $300+ use promo code SPECIALDAY  and get a 7% discount
  • Who is eligible: Swych user only
  • Where it’s available: Offer available online, nationwide
  • How to earn it:
    • Log in to your Swych account or sign up if you don’t have one, See link below.
    • Purchase desired card balance, minimum of $100.
    • To get discount nter in corresponding promo code at checkout, See codes above.
  • Terms: Limit two (2) per customer, while supplies last.

(Visit the link above to download Swych App)

Purchase $100 Lowe’s GC for $90 (Expired)

Purchase $100 Lowe’s GC for $90

Currently, Swych is having a special promotion where you can get $100 Lowe’s GC for $90. If you’re looking for a good opportunity to save a ton of money on remodeling or simply needing new tools or equipment, then this is perfect for you. This promotions lasts until August 15, 2019 so be sure to take advantage of this offer while you still can. Be sure to apply promo code MYTOWN at checkout.

  • What’s the offer: Purchase $100 Lowe’s GC for $90
  • Promo Code: MYTOWN
  • Where it’s available: Swych app
  • When it expires: August 15, 2019
  • How to get it: Purchase a $100 Lowe’s gift card and apply code at checkout on the Swych App
  • What are the terms: This promo ends August 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m., Pacific, and is limited to two (2) per customer while supplies last

(Click here to download the Swych app)

750 Points w/ $150 Clothing GC Purchase(Expired) 

Earn 750 Points on a $150 Clothing GC Purchase with Swych

Earn 750 Points with $150 GC Purchase

Currently, Swych is having a special promotion where you can earn 750 Points when you spend $150 on clothing or department store gift card purchases through Swych. This is a great opportunity to earn points as the kids will be going back to school relatively soon and may need new clothes. This promotions lasts until July 21, 2019 so be sure to take advantage of this offer while you still can.

  • What’s the offer: 750 Points for $150 Clothing GC purchases
  • Where it’s available: Swych app
  • When it expires: July 21, 2019
  • How to get it: Purchase $150+ in department store or clothing gift cards through the Swych app and use promo code TRENDSET to recieve your points
  • What are the terms: Limit 2 offer redemptions per customer

(Click here to download the Swych app)

4% Off Any $50+ Gift Card(Expired)

Get 4% off any gift card with code “DANDY2019”

Valid through July 7, 2019, Swych is offering 4% Off Any $50+ Gift Card when you apply promo code “DANDY2019” at checkout. Keep in mind that this offer is only available through the app and is limited to one per customer while supplies last. Also, this offer cannot be combined with any other offer.

(Click here to download the Swych app)

Buy $25 Uber Or Uber Eats GC For $20(Expired)

Buy $25 Uber Gift Card for $20

Swych is currently offering promotions where you can get a $25 Uber or UberEats gift card for $20! With 20% off, you won’t want to miss this deal! All you have to do is use promo code drive&dine upon checkout to save $5.

(Click here to download the Swych app)

$100 eBay GC for $90(Expired)

Buy $100 eBay gift card for $90

Right now, Swych is offering a promotion where you can save $10 on an eBay gift card! Their promotion currently is to buy a $100 eBay gift card for $90! If you shop on eBay often then this promotion is perfect for you! This promotion is only being offered to new members currently. Use promo code 19ways2ebay upon checkout.

(Click here to download the Swych app)

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to save money while shopping, then these are the promotions for you! Swych is allowing users to gift and send great discounted gift cards to family and friends. Make sure to take advantage of these promotions while you can.

Don’t forget to apply the respective promo code! Please let us know in the comment section below about your experience and thoughts on this promotion and the service! If you like deals like this, then check out our section on the Best Gift Card Promotions!

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SociJam Review

It is a fact. You can’t deny that part of people’s daily routine is opening their social media accounts. Of course, Facebook is on top of them. Facebook has over 2 billions of users, and it is considered the most powerful social media today. This is the reason why most of the businessmen take Facebook…

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PAP’s “inbreeding of ideas” produces “defective policies”; new ideas should be incorporated into S’pore’s political “gene pool”: SDP chief Chee Soon Juan

The “inbreeding of ideas” within PAP has produced “defective policies” for Singapore in the last 15 years, resulting in “a malformed economy”, said Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan.

“The autocratic effort of keeping the political bloodline pure within the PAP has produced a society unable to respond to changes and begun the slow but certain undoing of this country,” he added.

Quoting an article by TODAY in 2015, in which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reportedly said that Singapore will face three crucial challenges in the future: namely the economy, population growth, and national identity, Dr Chee argued that Singapore is already currently struggling with said challenges presently.

Analysts at Japanese financial group Nomura were quoted by The Business Times as saying that restructuring has failed to boost Singapore’s productivity, and that the Republic’s slow economic growth is predicted to last “until the end of this decade”.

This was even acknowledged by Mr Lee himself, according to Dr Chee. Mr Lee was quoted by CNA as saying in 2017 that “we are feeling the pains of restructuring”, and have yet to see the “dividends of our hard work”.

“After 15 years, and we’re still not seeing results,” said Dr Chee, adding that Lee “had formed seven sub-committees and consulted more than 1,000 individuals to help him draw up the plan”.

“In any private organisation, he would have been fired a long time ago,” he said. “If for the last 15 years, the PAP cannot figure out how to improve productivity and the economic situation, what makes you think that it can do so in the next five?”

While it is known that increased productivity equals economic growth, Dr Chee highlighted that even the mainstream media have reported that Singaporeans are generally under great pressure when it comes to working.

Business Insider, for example, reported as recently as in Mar this year that “92 per cent working Singaporeans are stressed”, while TODAY reported that Singaporean workers are “among the most stressed” worldwide. Singapore Business Review reported in 2014 that 6 in 10 Singaporeans surveyed were overworked and underpaid.

Citing an International Labour Organisation survey, which revealed that only 19 per cent of Singaporeans look forward to work daily, Dr Chee questioned: “How are you supposed to increase productivity when our workers are overworked, are the most stressed globally, and don’t look forward going to work?

“How does PAP [People’s Action Party] deal with this matter? It raises the cost of living, brings in even more foreigners to increase our population to 10 million … and Mr Lee pours gasoline on the fire by telling everyone to steal everyone else’s lunch,” charged Dr Chee.

Economics professor Linda Lim, in analysing the Committee for the Future Economy, said that what it doesn’t address is why all of the previous plans of the committees did not succeed, and why the government continues to make more of such plans under such committees.

“They’ve been saying the same thing in different words,” she said, as seen in the video posted by Dr Chee.

Citing Bloomberg’s report in may this year, Dr Chee said that at this rate, “Vietnam’s economy could soon overtake Singapore’s economy by 2029” based on DBS Bank Ltd.’s findings.

“That’s only 10 years from now. think about it,” he warned.

Singapore’s birth rates last year “lowest in the nation’s history”, patriotism weakening among young Singaporeans: Dr Chee

Just this month, even PAP’s Women’s Wing acknowledged that high cost of living deters Singaporeans from having children, Dr Chee noted. Singapore’s falling birthrates indicate that it is possible that the “proportion of older folks may be double than younger ones” in a decade from now. 2018 saw the lowest birthrate in Singapore’s history since independence, at 1.14 births per woman of childbearing age.

“Again, what does Mr Lee do? He raises prices and taxes on a slew of items in the last few years – including school fees – and will hike the GST to 9 per cent next year,” said Dr Chee.

Issues stemming from the government’s open-door policy towards foreign labour and scholars have also posed as a hindrance in building a solid national identity, he suggested.

Citing a CNA report in 2007 — in which it was revealed that 37 per cent of younger Singaporeans surveyed don’t feel patriotic, and more than half of them would emigrate, given the opportunity to do so — Dr Chee said, “Are you surprised that our people don’t feel loyal to Singapore when you flood this country with foreigners to unfairly compete with them for jobs?”

“Companies in Singapore are discriminating against Singaporeans, can you believe it? Even PAP MPs have admitted that locals are disadvantaged when it comes to finding jobs,” he added.

Dr Chee further said that given that the government is funding the studies of foreigners via scholarships “to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars” while raising the school fees of local students, it is absurd to “expect people to have a strong sense of national identity”.

Other arrangements made under the government’s open-door policy include the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) — under which Indian nationals are recruited to work in Singapore, and Certis Cisco being allowed to recruit graduates from Taiwan as auxiliary police officers — encourage more foreign PMETs to work in Singapore “even as our own PMETs cannot find jobs and are increasingly turning to driving taxis and Grab cars”, he added.

Injection of new ideas will expand S’pore’s “political gene pool”, ensure survival of S’pore society

Using the example of the Habsburg Monarchy in Europe some centuries ago, whose members married one another to keep their power within the family, Dr Chee pointed out that the inbreeding resulted in successive generations having congenital defects, such as in the case of Charles II of Spain, who had an unusually small heart and some intestinal problems, among other conditions.

“The royal line ended with his early death,” said Dr Chee.

“Science has shown that species with small gene pools don’t allow diversity and variety, and are prone to getting wiped out when an event favours one trait over the other,” he stressed.

Thus, said Dr Chee, “we must create a large and robust pool of ideas so that when circumstances change, we as a society don’t get wiped out”.

“This is why SDP has come up with alternative new ideas on how to raise productivity, rejuvenate our economy, lower the cost of living, provide affordable healthcare, educate our children, and so on,” he said, adding that “the only way that we can do this is for SDP to get into Parliament at the next round and stop PAP inbreeding”.

“The PAP is bankrupt of ideas, and I’m not exaggerating or indulging in PAP-bashing … I’m putting this all together and connecting the dots for you so that you can see the whole picture, not just bits and pieces here and there that may not make any sense.

“This is the job of the opposition — to help our people see what’s going on and understand where we are headed, to warn the people of the problems that lay ahead,” said Dr Chee.

Chee Soon Juan previously highlighted plight of elderly Singaporeans living in poverty

Citing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s election promise in 2015, in which Mr Lee said that elderly Singaporeans “deserve peace of mind in their golden years” and “to live out their years with dignity”, Dr Chee, in a video on 30 Jul, highlighted how after the last election until today, senior citizens “are having difficulty in making ends meet”.

This can be seen in the number of seniors working as cleaners, as Dr Chee had shown in his video, which he had attributed partially to the government’s policy of not allowing “retirees to take back their CPF savings at 55 years old”.

While the CPF Board retains Members’ money at 55 for the purpose of the CPF LIFE annuity scheme, Members will only be able to obtain monthly payouts after the “payout eligibility age” at 65 from CPF Life, and only after making an application to the CPF Board, as illustrated by a TOC reader earlier this year.

Drawing attention to the tragic plight of elderly Singaporeans who “live in poverty” as a result of not being able to withdraw their CPF savings at 55, Dr Chee observed that some of them “have to sleep on the streets and McDonalds because they are homeless”, and that many of them have also contemplated resorting to suicide as they could “find no way out” of their bleak financial situation.

The number of suicides among elderly Singaporeans reached “a record high” since 1991 in 2017, with 129 senior citizens aged 60 and above having taken their lives, as reported by the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) a year ago.

Younger generations are not spared from the negative effects of the PAP’s policies, according to Dr Chee, as many “are turning to driving taxis and Grab cars” due to retrenchments, which many have attributed to the PAP’s open-door “foreign talent” policy.

Dr Chee also reiterated the multiple rising costs of basic necessities such as the 30 per cent increase of the water tax, as well as increasing town council fees and public education fees as an example of how the PAP will “make you pay and pay”.

“Before elections, it [PAP] will lower the price of this and that, like giving you kopi for 50 cents and get your vote. But after the elections, it will increase prices again and more, then take back the money it “gave” you before,” he charged.

“Before elections, it will give you a chicken wing. After elections, it takes back a whole chicken,” added Dr Chee.

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NUS asked to explain fee increases despite having huge reserves; it replies it didn’t increase this year

On Thursday (15 Aug), a member of the public Ivan Goh Sian Lung wrote to ST Forum complaining that despite having billions of dollars in its reserves, NUS continues to increase its tuition fees putting pressure on Singaporeans.

“It shocked me to find out that the National University of Singapore (NUS) has been increasing its tuition fees for Singaporean students every year since 2015,” Mr Goh wrote.

“For example, a graduate student doing a computing research programme admitted in 2015 pays $8,600 a year, while a student in the same programme admitted this year pays $9,500 a year, an increase of 10.5 per cent.”

Mr Goh added that the cost of accommodation and food in NUS’ hostels and residential colleges has also continuously been increased. “All these increases add up and put pressure on Singaporeans,” he said.

At the same time, Mr Goh noted that the reserves of NUS has increased from $8.5 billion in the previous year to $9.5 billion in its financial year that ended in March last year.

“Why are Singaporean students paying more despite NUS’ reserves? Are government tuition grants not sufficient to offset these yearly increases?” he asked NUS.

NUS: We didn’t increase fees this year

Probably fearing it would become an election issue in the upcoming GE that might be detriment to his bosses upstairs, the Senior Vice-Provost of NUS, Prof Bernard Tan Cheng Yian, quickly replied. His reply was published today (‘2019 academic year: No tuition fee hike for most NUS undergrad courses‘, 17 Aug).

Prof Tan started off with the usual motherhood statements saying that NUS is “committed to providing an affordable, high-quality education to all our students, regardless of their financial background”.

He revealed that presently, Singaporean students only pay about 25 per cent of the total cost of an undergraduate education.

“Tuition fees are reviewed annually to factor in cost inflation and to maintain the relevance and quality of education. Any fee increases will affect only new cohorts and not current students. Notwithstanding, for the 2019 academic year, most of our undergraduate courses did not see any increase in tuition fees,” he said.

“Further, lower-income students can apply for various bursaries to further defray course fees. These include Ministry of Education-funded bursaries as well as those funded by NUS through our fund-raising efforts.”

In 2018, 28 per cent of students or about 8,800 undergraduates received scholarships and financial aid, he disclosed. Of the 8,800, more than 90 per cent paid less than $5,000 in tuition fees with a third (about 3,000) paying no tuition fees at all, he said.

With Prof Tan’s disclosure, that means 22,600 students last year had to pay more than $8,000 in tuition fees.

It’s not known what NUS is doing about the huge reserves it has garnered over the years. Perhaps earning higher interests to pay people like Prof Tan?


The post NUS asked to explain fee increases despite having huge reserves; it replies it didn’t increase this year appeared first on The Online Citizen.

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